Chickens were domesticated from the Red Junglefowl in Asia and are the most common bird kept living amongst people. We have utilized them for centuries for meat and egg production. More recently, people in urban settings have been raising chickens to be closer to their food source and have a better understanding of agriculture. As a result, people are discovering what great pets chickens can make! They are personable, friendly and can even learn tricks.
Virulent Newcastle Disease, also known as exotic Newcastle Disease, is one of the most deadly diseases of poultry worldwide causing death in almost 100% of unvaccinated birds that become infected. However, it can also cause disease and death in vaccinated birds. In early April 2019, the first case of this disease was diagnosed in northern Arizona.
Marek’s Disease is a highly contagious viral (Alphaherpesvirinae) disease of poultry and can be found in both commercial and backyard birds. The virus is airborne and spreads through feather dander and feces. The virus is prevented by vaccinating birds while in the egg or shortly after hatching.
Veterinarians who work with chickens know that the prevalence of cancer in the reproductive tract of a hen is high. Some studies found that about 45% of female chickens develop reproductive tract cancers, usually after a hen is 2 years of age. In the beginning, egg production may not be affected but as time goes on these can be a decline in eggs and worse, cancers can spread to involve other organs. Ultimately, they will take the life of the chicken.
As backyard chickens are increasing in popularity as pets, their owners are coming to expect quality veterinary care for these feathered friends.
Birds have a very complicated sinus system (a part of the respiratory tract) with lots of interconnecting air pockets that can readily get infected. Infections can start in one site and move through the sinus system to attack most areas of the skull. A severe infection means that many affected birds will die without treatment.
Scaley skin is a common problem in captive birds. On the feet the skin may appear as a white powdery to flakey substance, or develop a thick build-up of dry yellow material. On the body beneath the feathers you may see a spiderweb of dry skin, sometimes with patches of yellow or tan crusts. Scaley skin can be caused by a variety of problems. An imbalanced, particularly one that is low in vitamin A or ones that have an imbalance of
When a bird is very ill, it is often recommended that a “hospital cage” be created at home to provide an optimal environment for recovery. It is best to have a designated cage for this before an illness occurs in order to be well prepared. Your veterinarian will make specific recommendations for you based on your individual birds problem but the following information is often adequate for most basic at home hospital cages.
Endoscopes are small "telescopes" that are used to have a look at the internal organs of an animal. Just as a veterinarian does a thorough physical examination of the outside of the body, the endoscope allows a veterinarian to do the same sort of examination of the bird's internal organs to assess their health. This is extremely helpful to determine an underlying cause for many illnesses that elude detection through bloodwork and other routine diagnostic labwork.